How can a 2 ounce ball do so much damage to so many tennis players? I mean after all an average human weighs over 1000 times that of a tennis ball. So what is going on? How can that little fuzz yellow ball push us around?
So…what is it about hitting a tennis ball that causes us so many difficulties? Why do some players look like they are in perfect harmony and rhythm with the ball and other appear to fight the ball like they are swatting a swarming bee hive?
The reason for this is that most recreational players missed the point when they first learn to play….The CONTACT POINT that is. In general players are taught to hit a ball by focusing on the sending skills instead of the receiving skills as a first priority. You may ask, “Why does this even matter?” Well…it actually makes a huge difference.
Did you know that the ball touches your strings for about 3-5 milliseconds? To put that in perspective it takes your body 50 milliseconds to compute and feel the impact. That means the ball is about 3 feet off your racquet by the time you feel it. So why does this minuscule point in time mean so much?
Well the way you position yourself relative to where the ball will impact the strings will either give your racquet leverage over the ball or allow the ball to have the leverage over the racquet.
As you can see from the pictures of good contact point when the ball is impacted in front of the body the players are able to use their legs and trunk thus giving them more strength or leverage over the ball as opposed to the poor contact point where
you can see the players are going to have to use more arm strength to make up for lack of leg and trunk use. This creates potential for injury and loss of directional control.
Next time you go on the courts see if you are in a good contact position or do you need to make adjustments. The good news is that the SOAC coaches are skilled at training better contact point? The player’s level whether beginner or advanced would benefit from these training methods. Give us a call we would love to help transform your game and possible extend you tennis life.
In future articles and videos we will discuss the ideal contact point in greater detail but for now if you think you are experiencing problems with the correct contact point and it is keeping you from using your whole body to hit the ball you may want to contact Greg or Luke for a lesson. It may give you some clarity as to why you make errors or are getting injured.